There are three of them. They are on my heart and I wonder how they are right now. I close my eyes and think about their environments, filled with difficulties and danger. Concern for their future floods me.Eyes closed, I see them and pray for them.Like us all, they are radically different from each other–DNA, experiences, wiring, personalities, looks, parents. Part of the marvel of what God wires into us are these differences. With our girls, Diane and I saw that regularly; raised by the same parents but delightfully different. So too for these 3, delightfully different.

They also share a lot. Each made in God’s image, equally valuable before Him. Each sharing a skin tone that marks the mixture of different ethnicities. Each filled with potential. Each also in a hard spot right now, facing crippling challenges.More than the commonality of now, their future is likely hard. Save the intervention of God, the sacrificial love of some people and the ability to make good but incredibly hard choices, they face long-term struggles. Not impossible to overcome, but also not easy.None of the three have been born yet. I met them by meeting their moms, the young women who carry them. Each in their 20’s, each unmarried, each with a hard story.One, who has already lost a couple of pregnancies and is again at high risk, she’s in jail. Another regularly sells her body for sex; it keeps a roof over her head and pays for her crack. Just out of jail for solicitation, she has already given up two kids for adoption and plans to do the same with this one. The third lives back and forth from motels to the streets. All of them are in high-risk, low-support environments that pose untold stress and risk to the moms and the babies they carry. I believe they love their babies but their world is hard.

Again, I close my eyes and think about these beautiful babies and grieve at what they face. What does it do to a baby when crack cocaine is regularly pumped into her through her mom’s habit? What do poor nutrition, cold, stress and danger do to ones as fragile as this? I grieve too for the moms.We are around many vulnerable people, but these children, in utero, are the most vulnerable here along East Colfax. Yet they, maybe above all, are deeply loved by Jesus. Made in God’s image, worthy of birth and of help towards a good life, both they and their moms need help.Many will gladly help. For all three, we are trying to get them to our friends at Alternatives Pregnancy. They will help with the mom, the child, the birth and with finding a path forward. We know many stories of people transcending similar challenges.

But for right now, with these three, progress is slow.I regularly look for them, and when I don’t see them, I let people know we are here to help. In one case, I talk to the grandmother regularly and she keeps me updated. When I see the mom I pray with her, but right now she is in jail.Two motel managers keep me updated on the one who practices prostitution. They too want to help and tell her I am looking for her, but at the moment she is staying out of reach.The third I will look for again this week.

I lovingly haunt them in hopes of helping them.At moments like these we only know how to do two things. We know how to show up and love, trying to get close enough to give moms and babies some help. Right now we are limited by their unwillingness to seek help. Thankfully, there is another thing we know how to do. We know how to pray for all six of them. We pray before we go out and while we are out and after we come back. When we feel helpless, we pray even more deeply, asking Jesus to move powerfully; only Jesus can turn helplessness into hopefulness.

Again, I pray; I imagine each mom, each baby, and through my prayers try to hold them in my heart and flood them with the kind of nurture, love and life that Jesus gives. And, I prayerfully renew my resolve to once more trudge through the snow and look for them in hope that Jesus will powerfully bring them to a brighter future. Pray for…these six, that a breakthrough will happen. And for many like them. Pray for…all of us, that we would do our part to care for these small and vulnerable ones.